While St. Petersburg definitely dominates Florida’s Gulf Coast region when it comes to tourism potential, not everyone wants to stay in such a popular beach resort city. Clearwater provides the perfect alternative to St. Petersburg and is only a few miles North of it. The beaches will be less crowded, the attractions a little less touristy, and you’ll feel like you have more space to move around. When you rent an RV in Clearwater, you’ll learn why so many sea-loving travelers seek out this beachy destination.
Clearwater lies 20 miles to the North of St. Petersburg and about 17 miles West of the city of Tampa. Most of the area’s good beaches are separated from the city of Clearwater by the intercoastal waterway, however, it’s just a few miles across a bridge to reach them. While the beaches have plenty of tourist facilities, they don’t feel nearly as crowded as the mainland.
RV Parks in Clearwater
Florida’s Gulf Coast is an incredibly popular RV rental location with vacationers and retirees, so you should have no trouble finding a place to make camp with your RV rental in Clearwater. One of the best parks is the Clearwater Travel Resort, six miles to the East of Clearwater Beach. It’s got laundry facilities, shuffleboard, and is very pet-friendly. Avalon RV Park and West Bay Oaks RV Park are both a few miles South of the city and are good choices if you’ll be splitting your time between Clearwater and St. Petersburg.
If you don’t mind staying a little North of the city, Bay Aire, Sherwood Forest, Dunedin, and Caladesi RV Resorts are all about 10 miles to the North, near the city of Dunedin, and provide easy access to Honeymoon Island State Park.
If you need any extra supplies for the Clearwater motorhome rental, the Clearwater Walmart is located a couple miles North of the intersection of Highway 60 and 19. There are no nearby truck stops with dump facilities, so you’ll have to venture over to Tampa to find those. However, some of the RV parks do provide them.
Exploring the City of Clearwater
While St. Petersburg gets most of the credit when it comes to cultural and artistic attractions, Clearwater has a few good ones to visit when rain prevents you from heading to the beach. The Dunedin Fine Art Center has some great offbeat pieces and even offers classes if you need a release for some of your own creative juices. The Clay and Paper Gallery of Art is chock-full of ceramic artwork and jewelry by local artists and are available for purchase if you’re looking for an extra special souvenir to take home.
If you’re traveling with kids on the Clearwater camper rental vacation, you’ll almost certainly make a stop at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. It’s not that big, housing only 13 different species, however, one of them is the bottlenose dolphin, Winter, who inspired the Hollywood films Dolphin Tale and Dolphin Tale 2. The Great Explorations Children’s Museum in nearby St. Petersburg has all kinds of educational, interactive experiences that are great for the little ones too.
In addition to its beaches, Clearwater is famous for being the headquarters for the Church of Scientology. Their opulent Flag Building is the largest building in the city and is open to the general public for tours. Whatever your feelings are on the church, the tour is sure to be an eye-opening experience.
Fans of auto racing will enjoy a trip to Showtime Speedway, which has stock, cart, and even drift racing a few times per week during the summer. Be sure to bring a pair of earplugs along.
Things to Do Outside in Clearwater
When you book an RV rental in Clearwater, it’s all about spending time at the beach. The big question is what you’d like to do there and how far you’re willing to travel with the Clearwater motorhome rental. The quickest way to get some sand between your toes is to venture over to the Beachwalk at Clearwater Beach. It’s a short trip with the Clearwater camper rental across Causeway Boulevard and there’s plenty to do besides enjoy the sand. There are playgrounds for the kids, tons of snack shops for hungry beachgoers, and of course, plenty of T-shirt shops for those looking for a souvenir. If you’re a bit of a thrill-seeker, jet ski rentals, parasailing, and ultralight flights are also available nearby.
Ever wanted to visit a desert island, but can’t be bothered to partake in the whole shipwreck thing? Honeymoon Island State Park is covered in windswept beaches and feels a world away from the hustle and bustle of the mainland. If you’re a fan of birdwatching, hike the Osprey Trail where sightings of owls, ospreys, and eagles are frequent. Kayaks, beach chairs, and bicycles are all available for rent, just bring your sense of adventure.
For an even more remote beach-going experience, check out Caladesi Island State Park, five miles to the Northwest of Clearwater. Swimming, kayaking, and picnicking are popular here, and without most of the crowds; the park is inaccessible by road. You’ll need to take a ferry from Honeymoon Island to get there.
If you’re not into sand and long walks on the beach, Moccasin Lake Nature Park might be more your style. The 51-acre park has boardwalks overlooking the beautiful namesake lake and there’s an interpretive center if you want to learn more about the animals that call this place home. Search for an RV rental in Clearwater and start planning your trip to this action-packed area today!